Dewey, Thomas E.

Dewey, Thomas E. (Edmund)

(1902–71) governor, presidential candidate, lawyer; born in Owosso, Mich. His record of investigating and prosecuting vice and racketeering led to his election as district attorney in New York City (1937–41) and wide support as a possible Republican nominee for president in 1940. He served as governor of New York (1943–55) and was the unsuccessful Republican candidate for president in 1944 and 1948; in the latter contest he seemed like such a sure winner that the Chicago Daily Tribune went to press too early with the headline "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN." He also earned another place in American legend when, because of his bland demeanor, Dorothy Parker said that he looked "like the man on the wedding cake." After leaving the governor's office, he returned to private law practice.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.